Clapboard: Madea Locks Up Box Office

LOS ANGELES ~ Tyler Perry’s comedy about a grandmother behind bars, Madea Goes to Jail, locked up the weekend box office in North America with US$41 million in ticket sales, final figures showed.

The latest escapades of writer-director Perry’s oddball gun-toting character, Madea, opened as the clear crowd favorite, drawing 34 percent of audiences at the movies, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

In second place was animated children’s adventure Coraline, earning another $11.4 million in its third week of release.

Third place was occupied by kidnap thriller, Taken, starring Liam Neeson as a former spy whose daughter becomes a victim of human traffickers, bringing in $11.3 million in its fourth week in theaters.

Starring Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore, the romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You swept the fourth slot with its tales of modern dating disasters, earning $8.5 million in receipts.

Meanwhile Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire, the uplifting love story about an Indian boy who rises from poverty to win millions on a television game show, saw a 15-percent spike in sales to earn another $8.4 million.

The Danny Boyle film, which has earned $98 million since it opened 15 weeks ago, stole the show at Sunday’s 81st Academy Awards, where it scooped up eight Oscars.

The remake of cult 1980s horror movie Friday the 13th tumbled to sixth place in its second weekend, bringing in $7.9 million in one of the most precipitous declines of all time, Exhibitor Relations said.

The 12th film of the successful slasher franchise, featuring hockey mask-wearing killer Jason Voorhees once again terrorizing teenagers, had raked in $43.6 million in its opening weekend.

In seventh place, Paul Blart Mall Cop – the tale of a security guard turned hero – showed enduring popularity with $6.8 million in sales and a total of $121 million.

The lighthearted romantic comedy Confessions of a Shopaholic was worth $6.7 million in its second weekend for eighth place.

The comedy debut Fired Up, about a pair of high school football studs who join a cheerleading camp, took ninth place with $5.5 million.

The International, which features British actor Clive Owen as an Interpol agent tackling a powerful and shady bank across the globe, came in 10th, earning $4.5 million.

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